2012 Listing Agent of the Year – Marty Griffin

CBSR Photos 395 (600x800)

Congratulations to Marty Griffin our 2012 Listing Agent of the Year! Marty had over 30 listings for 2012 which put him on top at our firm.  In the picture above Gordon Jones, President/Owner of CBSR, and Pamela Kulsa-Smith, Vice President of CBSR, award Marty for his accomplishment at our end of the year breakfast meeting that was held at Chilli Peppers Restauarant. Pamela said, “I’m excited that Marty has earned the Listing Agent of the Year award.  I’ve worked with Marty for over ten years and he goes above and beyond for his sellers!  Marty has earned the Coldwell Banker International Sterling Society award, placing him in the top 20% of all Coldwell Banker agents throughout the world.  Congratulations Marty!”

Way to go Marty and a big kuddos to you!


Existing Home Sales Hit a 5 Year High in 2012

For Coldwell Banker Seaside Realty, 2012 was our strongest volume year since 2005.  We ended the year with a 30% increase in sales over 2011, making this the fourth year in a row with increased sales.  Our market has shown substantial improvement and we anticipate 2013 will be another successful year for Coldwell Banker Seaside Realty.

Existing Home Sales Hit 5-year High in 2012

By Ruth Mantell


[1](MCT)—Sales of existing homes ticked down in December from the month before, while the total for 2012 hit the highest level in five years, according to data released Tuesday by the National Association of REALTORS®.

The pace of sales fell 1 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million, according to NAR. For all of 2012, existing-home sales hit 4.65 million, the highest level since 2007 and up 9.2 percent from 2011.

“Record-low mortgage interest rates clearly are helping many home buyers, but tight inventory [Read more…]

4th Quarter Outer Banks Real Estate Market Report – 2012

End of the year results are in for the Outer Banks real estate market and 2012 proved to be a breath of fresh air for our market. Check out The OBX Market Report Quarter 4 – 2012 or see the highlights below for latest stats on the area from Coldwell Banker Seaside Realty.

MLS Area Stats

According to the Outer Banks Association of Realtors, 2012 was a very good year with sales up across the board and some areas doing very well. There were a total of 2051 units sold in our MLS which is a 21% increase over units sold in 2011.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Residential:  1,590 units, up 19%
  • Land:  428 units, up 29%
  • Commercial: 33 units, up 22%

Pending sales were also much stronger in 2012 with an overall increase of 19%.  However, pending land sales were the standout performer with a 35% increase over last year.

There were a few particular areas that had significant increases in units sold compared to 2011:

  • Southern Shores and Currituck Mainland both were up 50%
  • Duck:  +32%
  • Kitty Hawk:  +26%

Distressed properties accounted for 17% of the total units sold, which was a decrease compared to the 20% in 2012.

Sold price vs. listings sold


Local real estate sales continue an upward trend « The Outer Banks Voice

With real estate sales continuing to rise, Coldwell Banker Seaside Realty certainly can attest to this trend. Our agents hit the $100 Million mark in ytd sales last month! Way to go agents, your hard work has not gone unnnoticed!

Local real estate sales continue an upward trend « The Outer Banks Voice.

Visa Spending Report Suggests Large Increase in Travel Spending

In another sign that global tourism is rebounding from the recession, a report released Monday shows a sharp increase in travel spending by Visa card holders. Last year Visa card holders traveling abroad spent 6% more than last year at $31 billion dollars. Interestingly foreign card holders traveling to the USA increased spending 18% from $29 billion last year.

“Despite economic uncertainties, the United States continues to be a major contributor to the global tourism economy, both as a destination of choice and as a critical source of tourism for many countries,” says William Sheedy, Visa’s group president for the Americas.

U.S card holders spent $3.5 billion for Canada travel, making it the most popular foreign    destination for Americans, followed by Mexico and Britain. Looks like Canadians returned the favor spending $9.2 billion for travel in the U.S- a larger amount than card holders of any other country.

The most popular U.S. destinations for foreign Visa card holders were Florida, New York, California, Texas and Nevada. Spending by them increased more than 15% in each state.

Foreign Visa card holders spent more last year in 48 of 50 states. States with the biggest percentage growth last year were North Dakota, 39%; Tennessee, 33%; Utah, 27%; and Wisconsin, 26%.

We hope to continue to see increases in the United States tourism industry especially here in our home state. With recent reports of 9% increases in visitor spending in North Carolina we are confident that a real estate market recovery is also beginning making it a perfect time to buy a vacation home here on the Outer Banks.

TripAdvisor Projects Big Year for Vacation Rentals in 2011

"The Good Life"

"The Good Life"

Survey Shows Increased Interest in Vacation Rentals, With 40 Percent of Travelers Planning a Rental Stay in 2011

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, recently announced the results of its second annual vacation rentals survey of more than 1,400 U.S. travelers.

Thirty-three percent of travelers said they stayed in a vacation rental in 2010, and forty percent of respondents said they are planning a vacation rental stay in 2011, indicating that rental homes are poised for a busy 2011.

From Hank Hudepohl, director of vacation rentals at TripAdvisor:  “With an increased interest in vacation rentals on TripAdvisor and a similar trend shown in our survey, it’s shaping up to be another strong year of growth for rentals.  For travelers staying with larger groups in 2011, a vacation rental is a great option to consider for its home-like amenities and affordable pricing compared to hotels.”

Here are some of the results from the survey:

Summer is the busiest vacation rental season…
Summer projects to be the most popular season for vacation rental stays in 2011, with 52 percent of U.S. travelers planning a rental home stay during the warmer months. In addition, 47 percent of respondents are planning to stay in beachfront villas, making them the most popular vacation rental type for 2011. The most popular U.S. region for rental stays in 2011 is the Southeast (31 percent) according to the survey. This was followed by the Southwest and the Northwest, which came in second and third, respectively.

Best part of a vacation rental…
When asked what travelers liked the most about vacation rentals as a lodging option:

  • 28 percent cited more space
  • 23 percent of travelers enjoyed having access to a full kitchen
  • 13 percent liked that rentals were often less expensive than hotels

In addition, 41 percent of respondents said vacation rentals were the best option for a trip when staying in a destination for a week or more, while 33 percent thought they were the best option when staying with a large group.

Booking early pays off…
Twenty-nine percent of travelers either always or often stay in the same rental year after year. Of the travelers who stayed in a vacation rental in the past:

  • 22 percent booked their rental home more than six months prior to the trip
  • 34 percent of travelers booked their rentals between three and six months out
  • 22 percent booked between one and three months out
  • 2 percent of travelers booked their vacation rental less than one month out

Vacation Rental vs. Hotel…
Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they would choose to stay in a vacation rental over a hotel if it were significantly less expensive. In addition, 80 percent of travelers would book a last minute vacation rental stay if they found a great deal.

Luxury vacation rental features…
If travelers had their pick of luxury vacation rental features:

  • 51 percent would choose a rental home with a private beach
  • 12 percent would choose a rental home with maid service
  • 9 percent would choose a rental home with a hot tub
  • 8 percent would choose a rental home with a personal chef

Vacation Rentals and life events…
According to the survey, 36 percent of travelers who have rented in the past have stayed in a vacation rental for a milestone life event, such as a wedding, birthday or reunion.

Know Before You Go…
When deciding between different rental properties, the key influences cited by respondents are:

  • Photos of the home (42 percent)
  • Traveler reviews (27 percent)
  • Cost of staying at the properties (13 percent)

Power of the internet and friends’ advice…
Most travelers find out about vacation rental properties on the Web, both on vacation rental property websites (70 percent) and online travel websites (55 percent). In addition, 25 percent of respondents find out about particular homes by word of mouth from friends and family.

The Outer Banks is the perfect beach vacation…a great combination of peaceful relaxation and fun local activities/attractions; gorgeous beaches, a wide variety of water sports, world-class fishing and surfing, great local art and shopping, delicious local food, history, nature, etc.

The OBX offers great vacation rental homes for all types of travelers; small beach bungalows to large beach front estates.

Please let us know if we can help you plan your next trip to the Outer Banks: www.OuterBanksVacations.com.

Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Jump 10 Percent in October

Pending sales of existing homes  jumped by 10 percent in October.

This increase followed a 1.8 percent drop in September and was unexpected based on economists’ estimates for October.   Pending home sales were projected to decrease 1 percent based on the median of 40 forecasts in the Bloomberg survey. Estimates ranged from a drop of 4.8 percent to a gain of 3 percent.

Cheaper borrowing costs, lower prices and more jobs may entice homebuyers in coming months, helping the real-estate market regain its footing after the end of the tax credit caused demand to slump.

Three of four U.S. regions saw an increase, today’s report showed, including gains of 27 percent in the Midwest, 20 percent in the Northeast and 7.1 percent in the South. Purchases fell 0.4 percent in the West.

August Housing Starts Beat Forecasts

Is the housing industry beginning to stabilize?  Housing starts in the U.S. increased more than forecast in August; this could be a positive signal of stabilization.

Builders broke ground on an annual rate of 598,000 homes in August.  This is up 10.5 percent over July (541,000 pace) and the most since April.  Economists were expecting August starts at a 550,000 pace, so this is a pleasant surprise this morning. 

In addition, building permits, a proxy of future activity, rose from a record low.   Building permits increased 1.8 percent to a 569,000 annual rate in August. Permits reached a record low of 559,000 in July.

Construction Spending Surges in April

U.S. construction spending for April rose above analysts’ expectations; the largest monthly increase in almost 10 years. 

The Commerce Department said construction spending rose 2.7 percent, the biggest advance since August 2000, to an annual rate of $869.1 billion. March’s increase was revised up to 0.4 percent from a 0.2 percent gain.

Home Prices Show a Year Over Year Increase

Home Prices in February posted the first year over year increase in four years. 

The average home price increased 0 .6% from last year according to a 20 city index. Out of the 20 cities that were indexed, nine showed an increase.  “The homebuyer tax credit, available until the end of April, is the likely cause for these encouraging numbers,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P.

 Another positive sign for the housing market is the fact that housing starts are also on the rise in much of the coutry.  Many experts in the building industry expect housing prices to remain stable for awhile. Folks in the construction business have begun to regain some confidence lately with both new home sales and applications for building permits also posting gains.